574 Published Reviews
HALO InfiniteXbox Series X
Halo Infinite handles the burden of the franchise’s long history gracefully. At times, as with the campaign’s story, it can feel like developer 343 Industries is weighed down by Master Chief’s Mjolnir armor. But Infinite’s bolder design choices, like its open-world environment and Grappleshot, make it feel exciting and new.
Danganronpa Decadence finally brings Spike Chunsoft’s amazing murder mystery series to the Nintendo Switch, accompanied by an all-new bonus game, Danganronpa S: Ultimate Summer Camp. While the latter is fun on a shallower level, the Danganronpa games remain engrossing and engaging experiences that are just as good today as they were back when they originally saw release on the Vita. Well, almost as good, as the ports we get here see reduced visuals or performance at times due to (seemingly) being based on the previous mobile releases.
Date Night BowlingSwitch
At its basics, Date Night Bowling provides some decent bowling gameplay mixed in with the twist of trying to win over a date before the end of the 10th frame. As a concept, however, the game totally fails to capitalize on the thrill of trying to get strikes on the lane while not striking out romantically. There’s so much more that could and should have been done with the game at every level, leaving an experience that’ll keep you entertained in short bursts but wanting more in the long run.
BLUE REFLECTION: Second LightPS4
Blue Reflection: Second Light is a perfect example of judging a game on what it tried to be, and not what it isn’t. While it pales in comparison to other blockbuster Japanese role-playing games, and remains constrained by the long-standing limitations of its developer, it is an enjoyable and engrossing adventure when taken for what it is: a mid-tier RPG that brings together a group of fleshed-out characters who are trying to improve both their lives and their world.
Battlefield 2042 brings the sandbox back to the series in bold and controversial ways. The new Specialist system might seem like sacrilege at first, but it opens up gameplay opportunities that weren’t possible in previous titles. The massive, well-designed maps offer plenty of room for experimentation and emergent stories, and the modes are a blast. And that’s just All-Out Warfare.
Call of Duty: VanguardXbox Series X
Call of Duty: Vanguard sometimes strains under the pressure of fulfilling its obligations to the all-consuming Warzone platform that the series has become. Vanguard’s Gunsmith and Operators might dictate the game’s World War II fiction in weird and hilarious ways, but it can still offer the same thrills you’d expect. Still, there’s no denying that Vanguard feels like a watered down entry for the franchise, which is now more motivated by microtransactions than by telling a compelling World War II narrative.
Shin Megami Tensei VSwitch
Shin Megami Tensei V is the Japanese RPG equivalent of mid-century modern design, as the classic style and attitude of the series gets enhanced by—but never replaced with—simpler and sleeker refinements and modernizations. In a moment when Atlus could have given Persona’s sibling series a more market-friendly makeover, the company has instead given us a game that’s as weird, punishing, and mysterious as any previous SMT release that came before.
Forza Horizon 5Xbox Series X
Forza Horizon 5 delivers everything that made the last game enjoyable on a map that’s more fun to drive with a lot more visual diversity. While the changes and additions are largely incremental—especially when it comes to the core game experience—what’s here is good enough to warrant a recommendation for fans of the series or racing enthusiasts who’ve been meaning to try it out.
Marvel's Guardians of the GalaxyPS5
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy may not be able to quite match the humor of James Gunn’s MCU films, but it’s packed with plenty of personality and decently fun (if not groundbreaking) combat. To its great credit, Eidos-Montréal’s story-driven approach always keeps the focus on its ragtag team of heroes, making for a worthwhile and memorable trip to the Cosmic Marvel universe.
Metroid Dread is a superb mix of action and exploration that brings Nintendo’s classic series into the modern era in a way that feels like a new beginning even as it positions itself as an end to a 35-year saga. Samus, her abilities, and the challenges she faces have changed and expanded over time, but the excitement and satisfaction her adventures provide continue to this day.
Far Cry 6Xbox Series X
Far Cry 6’s barely hangs together on the strength of the gameplay loop it inherits from its predecessors. Beyond the addition of some fun new toys, like the “resolver” weapons and Supremo backpacks, nearly every design change is mystifyingly for the worse, and the mismatch between the gameplay and storytelling ambitions is more conspicuous than ever.
Hell Let LooseXbox Series X
Hell Let Loose is one of the most unique and fulfilling first-person shooter experiences that a console player can have. Its deep strategy metagame and intricate mechanics can be intimidating to new players, but if you stick with it and give it the time it needs, Hell Let Loose will reward you with emergent and unforgettable moments.
Alan Wake RemasteredXbox Series X
Alan Wake Remastered does what a good remaster should. It honors the original game’s artistic direction while enhancing it with modern technology, specifically in the form of volumetric lighting. Its lack of American Nightmare as part of the package is disappointing to say the least, but fans of Remedy’s current work would do well to take a trip to Bright Falls, whether they’re returning or visiting for the first time.
Tales of ArisePS5
Bandai Namco promised that “now is the time for change,” and Tales of Arise legitimately feels like a game that’s trying to bring change to Japanese RPGs. It’s strong characters, epic story, engrossing battle system, and lush visuals are only marred by a disappointing final act, and those areas of the game where the team refused to let go of outdated ideas and conventions. If the Tales team can find it in themselves to push things just a little further, then this might truly be the spark that sets off a revolution in a genre that’s needed a regime change for so long now.
Deathloop layers a refined take on Arkane’s signature mix of ability-driven action and stealth onto a time-looping premise, and the result is one of most memorable games of recent years. While many of the pieces may be familiar, the combination is fresh and full of surprises.
Life is Strange: True ColorsPS5
Life is Strange: True Colors has a lot of the ingredients that make the series so beloved, most notably in its compelling protagonist. Technical advancements for the series bring its story to life with fantastic performances and a keen eye for detail. Unfortunately, the story it brings to life is full of stutters and stops, and takes far too long to develop. Where Life is Strange games are full of movement, True Colors feels painfully stagnant for too long.
Space Invaders Invincible CollectionSwitch
Space Invaders Invincible Collection certainly isn’t the collection it could have been, and definitely isn’t a collection for everyone, but it is still a great look back at the Space Invaders franchise for those interested in such a thing.
No More Heroes 3Switch
No More Heroes III brings back gaming’s favorite passing assassin in a bombastic way, with the kind of inventive, fourth wall-breaking presentation one might expect. It’s flashier, bolder, and even funnier than its predecessors, and the gameplay feels just slightly modernized without sacrificing any of the series’ charm.
Psychonauts 2Xbox Series X
Psychonauts 2 recaptures the humor, heart, and much of the creative magic of the original game, with modern refinements that make it more pleasant to play. While the combat still feels a bit clunky and outdated compared to the rest of the game, fans of the original will no doubt delight in revisiting old friends and making new ones in this charming adventure.
Twelve Minutes fully embraces its time loop conceit to amp up tension and provide players with a cleverly directed puzzle to solve. Discovering the whos and whys of the game’s central event in bite-sized increments is just as satisfying as interacting with its simple adventure-style interface. Its A-list casting and unanswered plot elements might distract from the overall package, but at its core, Twelve Minutes is a satisfying thriller that asks some dark and disturbing moral questions.
NEO: The World Ends With YouSwitch
Players coming in fresh to Neo: The World Ends with You might have a 14-year history to contend with, but that won’t stop them from falling in love with Shibuya. Whether it’s the complex and likable characters, the wickedly twisting storyline, or the frenetic yet strategic combat system, the long-awaited sequel has a lot to offer fans of action RPGs and the cult-classic series alike.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HDSwitch
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD improves on the original in every conceivable way. The visual and performance upgrades make it feel like a new game, and the motion controls feel much more responsive, thanks to the Switch’s Joy-Cons. But the new button controls are the biggest improvement; instead of fighting against the motion controls, players can now savor the satisfying combat and genius level design.
Mario Golf: Super RushSwitch
Speed Golf and Battle Golf are both great ideas, but they aren’t fleshed out enough to feel like main modes. Golf Adventure is a great way to add depth to what basically amounts to an extended tutorial, but it too suffers from pacing problems. Thankfully, the bulk of the game—the actual golfing—feels better than ever by being both technically challenging and more accessible.
Chivalry 2Xbox Series X
Chivalry II is great fun when it works. Its combat is simple to learn and less simple to master, but incredibly rewarding no matter your skill level. The new 64-player matches and objective-based modes ensure intense, prolonged battles, and the variety in the classes will keep you motivated to grind for that next weapon. But the lack of variety in the maps and subclass abilities, and the overwhelming connection issues, make the game more frustrating than it should be.
Ratchet & Clank: Rift ApartPS5
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is the first game I’ve played since the ninth-generation consoles launched that feels like a true next-gen title. Insomniac Games has done everything that it needed to do in making both a sequel to its longest-running franchise and a true next-gen exclusive.